9 Pakistani Women’s Harassment Laws

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Despite Pakistan’s poor ranking on the gender equality index, Pakistani women deal with harassment, catcalling, as well as stalking anytime they leave the house.

According to statistics, 99 percent of Pakistani women have experienced some type of sexual harassment at some point in their lives. You may face this problem regularly if you use public transportation, though.

Sexual harassment is a violation of an individual’s fundamental right to dignity as preserved in the Constitution of Pakistan. But the existing situation further aggravates with the acknowledgment that women aren’t even aware of their legal position under Pakistani law.

The following articles control the harassment laws in the country:

Section 510 of Pakistan Penal Code 1860: If a drunken person appears in a public place, annoying any person, he can be punished with imprisonment or fine, or both.

Section 509 of Pakistan Penal Code 1860: If a person labels any woman, utters any disrespectful word, or is offensive by their gesture, he’s liable to the punishment of three years or fine or both.

Section 366A of Pakistan Penal Code 1860: If a girl under the age of 18 is forced to perform sexual intercourse, the offender is liable to a punishment of 10 years and a fine.

Section 509 of Pakistan Penal Code 1860: If a person demands sexual favors and uses a verbal or non-verbal form of communication, causing any kind of annoyance, the person is liable to a punishment of three years or a fine or both.

Section 509 of Pakistan Penal Code 1860: If a person makes a false accusation of fornication against any woman, he is liable to five years in prison along with a fine.

Section 354A of Pakistan Penal Code 1860: If a person assaults a woman using criminal force, stripping off her clothes and exposing her to public view, he is liable to be punished with death or imprisonment for life along with a fine.

Section 294 of Pakistan Penal Code 1860: If a person uses any indecent or vulgar language in a public place to offend, he is liable to the punishment of three years along with a fine.

According to Section 3 of the Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace Act 2010, each organization must establish an investigation committee to investigate workplace harassment charges. The committee should include three individuals. One member must be female.

According to Section 2(H) of the Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace Act 2010, anyone making an unwelcoming sexual advance, requests for sexual favors, or any verbal or physical conduct (falls in the category of workplace harassment) causes interference with work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment for co-workers, can be liable to minor and major penalties.

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Nismah Naveed Bhatti
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